RUDY WARNER ROBBINS
Submitted by Billy Hathorn, Class of 1966
|Rudy Warner Robbins|
Rudy Robbins in John Wayne's The Alamo
|Born||November 17, 1933 (1933-11-17)
Evergreen, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, USA
|Residence||Bandera, Bandera County, Texas|
|Occupation||Actor, Singer; Songwriter; Script writer|
|Parents||Charles and Mary Alice Grimble Robbins|
Robbins once said that he would have preferred to have
been a simple cowboy but decided his best opportunity lay in
presenting the Western culture to audiences at home and abroad.
(2) Robbins former band "The Spirit of Texas" was recognized as the "Official Cowboy Band for Texas" by the Texas State Senate.
(3) Robbins career as an actor and stuntman began with a minor appearance in John Wayne's The Alamo (1960).
(4) The Port Arthur Historical Society maintains an exhibit on Robbins in the Museum of the Gulf Coast.
Rudy Warner Robbins (born November 17, 1933) is a Western entertainer known for his singing, songwriting, acting, writing, and his past performance of film and television stunts. He is also affiliated with a real estate firm in his adopted city of Bandera, Texas.
He is the youngest of four children born
in Evergreen in Avoyelles
Parish in south central Louisiana to Charles Robbins, a native of Mississippi, and the former Mary Alice Grimble. His middle
and last names coincidentally are the same as a city in Georgia but with one additional "b": Warner
Robins. When Rudy was two years
old, the family moved to Port
Arthur on the Texas
Gulf Coast, where he was reared. He
graduated in 1952 from Thomas
Jefferson High School, now known as
Memorial High School, and then, for one academic year, attended Lamar
University in Beaumont, Texas, known at the time as Lamar Technical Institute.
Himself a Baptist, Robbins graduated in 1956 from East
Texas Baptist University in Marshall in east Texas with credentials in business
administration and sociology.
From 1957-1959, Robbins served in the United States Army and was on the Fourth Army track team. He set a record for the javelin throw, the same event in which he had lettered at ETBU. In the Army, he met the son of a film producer who told him about job opportunities in Hollywood as a stuntman.
After military service, Robbins moved to
Bandera, a small community west of San
Antonio which calls itself
"The Cowboy Capital of the World". He worked there for
a time as a wrangler at the Dixie Dude Ranch until he was offered a speaking but unnamed role
as one of the Tennessee Volunteers in John Wayne's epic The
Alamo, which was filmed not in
San Antonio but near Brackettville in Kinney
County in south central Texas. In The
Alamo, Robbins was involved in a short dialogue repeated several times during the film: a
fellow-Tennessean would review a developing situation and ask
Robbins, "Do this mean what I think it do?" Robbins
would reply, "It do." Thereafter, John Wayne called
Robbins by the nickname "It Do"; one of Robbins'
treasured possessions is a souvenir Alamo mug addressed to "It Do" from
"Duke", Wayne's nickname.
After The Alamo, Robbins went to Hollywood but returned semi-permanently to Bandera in 1971 though he was on tour for many of the following years.
Wayne introduced Robbins to legendary director John Ford, who hired him as an actor in Two
Rode Together with Jimmy
Stewart and Richard
Widmark (also filmed near
Brackettville) and later for stunts in Cheyenne
Autumn, also with Widmark, and
in three other Wayne films, McLintock! with Maureen
Green Berets and Rio Lobo (1970). Robbins' other parts were for uncredited stunts
Rounders (1965) and Sugarland
Express (1974). He also
appeared as a mechanic in Sugarland Express. He did stunts for CBS's Gunsmoke in 1964, acting as a double for series star James Arness.
In 1966, Robbins played Josh Cutler in NBC's Daniel Boone with Fess Parker.Robbins holds Parker, later a large Los Angeles developer, in high esteem because Parker paid him in advance: "He knew I was hard up. When I showed up on Monday morning, he handed me an envelope with my first episodes pay in advance," recalls Robbins.
Along with Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Charlton Heston, Robbins was awarded honorary membership in the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures. Robbins also trained horses for other stuntmen and became a production manager for various shows.
In 1967, he was selected by the United
States Department of Commerce to go
to Europe as a "Cowboy Goodwill Ambassador" to
introduce and promote the sale of denim jeans.
Rudy Robbins (back) poses with his Spirit of Texas band members from left, Ray Tate, Cal Berry, and Roger Heinen. The Spirit of Texas in this photo includes, from left, Johnny Way, Roger Heinen, Ray Tate, and Rudy Robbins. It was formerly the "Official Cowboy Band for Texas."
Later, he joined Monte Montana, Jr., to re-create Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. With a cast of 125 cowboys, cowgirls, and Indians and 135 bison, longhorns, and horses, the show toured worldwide from London to Brazil to Singapore. The group was particularly well received in Japan, where it performed four to five shows daily for four months. The last wild west show performance was near Glacier National Park in northern Montana. Back in Texas, Robbins produced the Rudy Robbins Western Show and the All American Cowboy Get-Together, a two-day event of music, poetry, cooking, arts, crafts and demonstrations.He is also active in the "Keep Bandera Western" campaign.
Robbins formed The Spirit of Texas, a western harmony group, which in 1991 was named by the Texas State Senate as the "Official Cowboy Band for Texas". Modeled on the old Sons of the Pioneers, the band performed for such celebrities as Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Rogers, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and Tom Selleck, as well as General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Texas Governors Ann W. Richards and George W. Bush. Robbins and the Canadian yodeler Shirley Field co-authored How to Yodel the Cowboy Way, which can still be obtained through Amazon.com. After the death of two members, the Spirit of Texas disbanded.
Robbins has also written short stories for Cowboy Magazine. Robbins is featured in the Museum of the Gulf Coast, which is administered by the Port Arthur Historical Society.He resides in Bandera, which is nestled in the Texas Hill Country. In 2008, he was seeking to sell a television series tentatively entitled Intriguing Mysteries of the Old West. One episode would focus on the unsolved ambush killing in 1908 of Sheriff Pat Garrett of New Mexico.
Among his awards, Robbins has been made honorary town marshal of Tombstone, Arizona, honorary deputy sheriff of Pima County (Tucson), Arizona, and "Outstanding Cowboy of the 20th Century" for Bandera County, Texas. He was commissioned an admiral in the Texas Navy by former Governor Bill Clements. He was awarded a plaque for excellence by the Texas Stuntmen's Association.
Robbins is the divorced father of one son, Jody Eldred (born 1956) of Marina del Rey, California, who is a producer, director, and cameraman in the television industry.
Retrieved from wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Robbins" Categories: 1933
births | People
from Port Arthur, Texas | People
from Texas | People
from Louisiana | East
Texas Baptist University alumni |
from the United States | Lamar
University alumni | Western
film actors | Texas
actors | American
songwriters | Living
people | American
We would like to thank Rudy for allowing us to put his biography on Minden Memories.